Friday, 16 May 2014

Story Sixty Five - Getting Priorities Right

8th July 2010. I'd received the letter from Hillingdon that afternoon, informing me that they will never let Steven return home. We were in the final phase of the fake transition home plan  and Steven was due his 3rd overnight stay at home two days later. I phoned the Unit the night I got the letter, upset and angry and wanted some clarification about what happens next.

The following morning, the manager of the Unit wrote to the head of safeguarding - the guy in charge of the DoLs procedures:

"Could you please me, so that I can be clear on what action I should take on behalf of the authority?

1. Under the DoL, The Unit is seen as the managing authority. As part of the DoL it was agreed that we would support Steven in the reintroduction of activities and risk assess Steven's behaviour prior to leaving the Unit and taking part in agreed and planned activities. Now that the letter has been sent  to Mr Neary, does this mean we are going to stop Steven's community activities as of now?

2. Do we continue to follow the plan of Steven going to his father's house for the weekend and provide additional staffing at the family home for Mr Neary and suggest that Steven return to the Unit to sleep on Saturday evening?

3. If we are going to provide additional funding for staff, who will fund it?

4. What should I be advising staff on how to respond to Mr Neary when he phones or speak to them?

5. What should I be telling Steven Neary?"

It's Steven's life that is being turned on it's head but he comes last on their list of priorities. The order of the questions seems so telling to me and reflects how I felt throughout the whole year. They had just made a decision that will affect the rest of Steven's life but talking to him about it, is an afterthought. He is not seen as important enough to warrant having the whole plan built around him.

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